15 Dec


Commander Keen — basically my childhood in a game. Except my IQ wasn’t over 300, but I was called an “egghead”, heh. Oh and the traveling to space thing. But I did in my dreams. And the alien for a pet. I had a dog. But otherwise, pretty much the same.

The Escapist recounts Keen’s history briefly… published… cough… eighteen years ago.

The Escapist

(thanks to Joe Siegler for the link)


Posted by on December 15, 2008 in Uncategorized


16 responses to “Meeeeemorieeeeeeeees

  1. Lin

    December 15, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Loved Captain Keen episode 4 back in 90s as I were a kid, it was really great game, one of my favorites among metal mutant and crystal caves… and outstanding Wolfenstein! 🙂

    If I understand correctly, Keen series were kinda soul of Id back@old times?…
    Tom, is there a chance to get the game BSD’ed or GPL’ed?.. cause I’ve had to move to linux for huge heap of reasons and it would be real nice to play good ol` keen >deathmatch< over lan xD Sorry, if it sounds too crazy.. 😦

  2. tommune

    December 15, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Not likely — I believe the original source code got lost when the NeXT systems died at id…. otherwise Carmack would have released the code ages ago….

  3. Joe Siegler

    December 15, 2008 at 11:49 pm


  4. Retodon8

    December 16, 2008 at 2:09 am

    I just skipped to the end after the subject changed from Keen to Final Fantasy. 🙂

    Commander Keen rocks!
    Back in the day I bought a Gravis PC GamePad so I could play Nintendo-style.
    I remember noticing the little guy on the packaging indicating a free game (the original) came with it.
    I plugged in the gamepad, installed the game, and started playing.
    I was hooked, so together with my little sister I finished the game the very same day/evening.
    The game may have been inspired by Super Mario Bros., but in my opinion it turned out to be superior.
    It’s almost 2009 now, and I still say Keen rocks.
    The series held up the test of time very well.

    I’m afraid the source code being lost must be true.
    I heard rumours about it a few times, but nothing ever came of any of them, so it must be truly lost. 😦
    Hopefully one day that will at least be made official, to give us Keen fans some closure.
    I stubbornly haven’t given up hoping for a new Commander Keen game either, as unlikely as it may seem. 🙂

  5. saeedoo

    December 16, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I still play Commander Keen on my phone ( with DosBox:) ) from time to time,
    And I’m looking forward to buying the next triology in Christmas 2092!

  6. Ravey

    December 16, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    So this is basically Tom Hall as a kid in his neighbourhood:


  7. Ian

    December 22, 2008 at 1:31 am

    This guy has been tagging commander keen all over australia!

  8. Adam

    December 26, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Commander Keen kept me busy during preschool to Kindergarten.

    Some great memories.

  9. Todd S. Gallows

    January 1, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I still miss Commander Keen up to this day. It’s still my dream to see Keen and Mortimer McMire battle it out for the Universe. To toast or not to toast?

  10. Trianguloid

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I’ve been a Keen fan since I was barely old enough to push buttons on a keyboard (2 years old), and I’ve never even come close to forgetting about the game. Recently, though, I’ve once again become hooked like I was in my childhood days. Well, I’m not even going to attempt to describe my love/obsession for the video games that you/apogee were a part of. I just want to say this: those games will always be my favorite. I don’t give a damn if some fucling Halo comes out because nothing can touch such great classics.
    Have a good one, Tom.

  11. Munkee

    February 13, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Legal complications and data loss. What won’t they corrupt? It’s so sad to see Keen just fade into history without ever having reached its conclusion. I guess the pack of 1-5 being released on Steam is a good thing, but nostalgia can only do so much with more and more people growing up with current-generation hardware. I wonder if CK6 will ever even be legally obtainable again.

    So long as there’s breath in your body I’ll continue to hold out hope for a proper conclusion. Someday. The universe isn’t toast yet.

    Good luck with present and future endeavours, and don’t lose sight of your roots.

  12. MaNiAc

    February 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I’m a programmer, who always wanted to work on games, but for several reasons my life took a different turn so i ended up in telecommunication business and games remained a secret hobby. There are a few things in life, that can give me the most inspiration for that… one of these is your site, Tom, and another is the book, Masters of Doom. Dunno, how many times i’ve been reading it, but it was so funny and cool to read about the guys, who created one of my childhood’s favourites, Commander Keen!

    I just wish you all the best both in business and in private life.

  13. Giuseppe Puglisi

    March 1, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Basically C. Keen was my first DOS game, I used to love mario platforms (I still do) and your game was a surprise for me. I still play it from time to time, thanks to dosbox. 🙂

  14. Fedor

    June 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Hi Tom,

    I still think of commander Keen very often. It was the best series out my childhood… Still hoping for a new version someday.. with lots of references to the old games.. Thank for creating these great games!

  15. Old Keen Fan

    November 30, 2009 at 7:04 am

    I too have memories of all the Keen games. I thought that episode 4 was my favorite.

    It has been nearly a decade since Tom Hall said he would continue the Keen saga with a final trilogy but the chances are dim. Nevertheless, the Keen games that he made so far will forever be remembered and cherished for generations to come. Thank you Tom Hall.

  16. Nerd42

    December 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    dude why don’t you make another Keen game on modern hardware? Are we supposed to wait till Christmas 2092 for the Universe is Toast or what? (screen said it would be out in “Christmas ’92”)


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